An automated planetary mission goes awry when it is hit by solar flares. Unit C-11 one of the landing group’s communication nodes attempts to repair its damaged memory with information erroneously downloaded from the mission’s orbiter. Once assimilated, the information along with a comment from one of the mission control hubs, convinces the tiny robot that it is a knight-errant on an important quest.
Lambent Nape Nor works at the Infinite Macro Cosmic Reality Corporation as the assistant head of product design and customer services for Universe 8. Despite Lambent’s concerns management insists on a last minute change to an already rushed update. It quickly becomes evident that change does more than they had intended.
The week’s story is based on the idea proposed by physicist David Bohm that the Universe is might be similar to a holographic projection and discussion around our house on recent news headlines that graphically point out how things don’t always go as planned.
Maya and Tim live in a future that is powered by coal, kids over 8 must work for a living, and reality is not what it seems.
Tim’s parents died after an apparently random traffic accident, leaving him alone, and in debt for the medical expenses. Unable to pay, his liabilities were auctioned off to a family who owns a café, where he now has to work until their daughter, Maya, finishes college.
After receiving an unexpected message warning him to check the server logs at the café, Tim and Maya go to meet the mysterious sender, who initially appears to be a bag lady, but is in fact from an old eccentric wealthy Way Station family. She takes Tim and Maya to the disused top floor of the Ashton Towers, where she reveals her involvement in a hundred year old society that is trying to understand the actions of an elusive and dangerous group which has been apparently changing history.
Tim’s gopher server project has inadvertently brought him, Maya and the café under the scrutiny of this organization and the Europa café’s future may be threatened as a result.
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A 500 hundred year old terraforming project is derailed by an imminent invasion. No one, except a small group of scientists, understands the true nature of the threat and its real implications for the future of their civilization.
This story evolved out of a discussion on James Lovelock‘s Gaia hypothesis that the earth is an single complex organism, the recent announcement of the creation of a synthetic genome, and a story that appeared about the possibility of life on Titan, based on an entirely different chemistry then our own.
After being sucked into a wormhole, created when Luki used Len’s unfinished hyper dry modification to the ship’s clothes dryer, the crew of the Hyper Nova are stranded on a strange planet called Atma, which is being smothered in lost laundry. The local inhabitants, who are ungulate like creatures with three legs, believe that the Hyper Nova is was sent from the great sky herd in answer to their pleas to stop the down pour of unwanted hoof warmers. Opick, the herd leader, is convinced that Luke could not possibly be the sky Alpha they have been waiting for and holds him captive. Len, Zara and ADA are then forced to improvise a way to negotiate a solution.